In Hari-bhakti-vilasa it is written:
tulasi kastha ghatitair manibhir japamalika
sarvakarmani sarvesam ipsitartha-phala-prada
gopucchasadrsi karya yad va sarpakrtih subha
tarjanya na sprsat sutram kampayen na vidhunayet
angustha-parva-madhya-stham parivarttam samacaret
na sprset vama-hastena kara-bhrastam na karayet
bhuktau muktau tatha krstau madhya-mayam japet sudhih
Japamala made of tulasi or precious stones fulfills all wishes. Those made in the shape of a cow or snake tail give even better results. You must not touch the japamala with your index finger. One should not even shake or rotate the japamala. You must change direction by holding the beads between your thumb and middle finger. One should never take the japamala with the left hand or drop it from one’s hands. Those who aspire to liberation, material pleasures or advancement in knowledge sing on the middle finger.
The chanting rules described in Hari-bhakti-vilasa are as follows:
manah samharanam saucam
Purification of the heart is necessary to gain attention. This means staying silent – that is, avoiding negative talk. While chanting, the meaning of the mantra should be remembered fondly. Stability, patience and attachment to singing are the riches of singing.
Sri Gopala Guru Gosvami explains the meaning of the name with these words:
vijnapya bhagavat-tattvam cid-ghanananda-vigraham
haraty avidyam tat karyam ato harir iti smrtah
haraty sri-krishna-manah krishnahlada-svarupini
ato harety anenaiva sri-radha parikirtita
anandaika-sukha-svami syamah kamala-locanah
gokulanandano nanda-nandanah krishna iryate
vaidagdhi sara-sarvasvam murti-liladhidaivatam
radhikam ramya-nityam rama ity abhidhiyate
The Personality of God, which has an eternal form of infinite knowledge and happiness, has manifested itself in His name. He takes away ignorance and the activities that concern it, so devotees remember Him as Hari. Sri Radha, who is the Lord’s internal power of happiness, captures Krishna’s mind. She is therefore glorified as Hara. The vocative form of Hara is Hare.
Sri Krishna is the eternal beloved of Radha, who is happiness personified. The beautiful dark son of Nanda, who has eyes like lotus petals, is the only source of happiness for the residents of Gokula. He is therefore known as Krishna. The names Hare and Krishna therefore mean Radha and Krishna, and are filled with eternity, knowledge and happiness.
Sri Krishna, who is the number one expert in love affairs and the adorable deity of amorous pastimes, always takes pleasure in Radha. He is therefore called Rama (Radharamana Rama).
Chanting the Hare Krishna maha-mantra is the glorification of Radha and Krishna. While chanting incessantly, one should remember Their sublime pastimes.
The Brhan-naradiya Purana states in this regard:
harer nama harer nama
harer namaiva kevalam
kalau nasty eva nasty eva
nasty eva gatir anyatha
In this age of discord and hypocrisy, the only means of deliverance is the chanting of the Lord’s holy names. There is no other way, there is no other way, there is no other way.
Abandon all other types of religious practices and all fruitive activities, because the holy name is the only essential practice. There is no other goal worth setting in Kali-yuga.
This is a section of the book “Bhajana Rahasya”, by Bhaktivinode Thakura.
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